1868 March 11 Letter to Joseph S. Murdock


1868 March 11 Letter to Joseph S. Murdock


With hard work the lower muddy will become a desirable place. The Southern Saints should not scatter onto farms or settle near the Indians. The mouth of the Rio Virgin should be settled.


Indian Affairs


Brigham Young


Joseph S. Murdock


1868 March 11


Great Salt Lake City
St Joseph, Arizona

Number of Pages



Indian Matters


Salt Lake City
March 11th, 1868

Joseph S. Murdock Lower Muddy
St Joseph Arizona Ter.

Dear Brother:-

Your favor under date of 27th ult. speaking of your move to and from the upper Muddy came to hand this morning. We were glad to hear of your good health and the general welfare of our brethren who are now in that region of country. The lower valley of the Muddy may be uninviting in some respects, but from the reports of those who were called to that mission last fall the country is far supperior to that lying between the rim of the basin and that point, and most of us are acquainted with the success of those in the South, who have struggled so many years to create the comforts which now they share so bountifully. The lower Muddy with all its barronness, will with industry and perseverance become a desirable place to dwell. It is no new thing for the Saints to contend with and overcome the obstacles which you mention.

An injudicious movement on the part of our brethren -- a premature scattering on to farms into the pockets and Kaynons wherever they can find land to suit them would give their enemies an opportunity to disturb their peace and perhaps endanger the lives of many, which is a thing we desire to avoid. God has given us wisdom to preserve ourselves, and if the brethren will strictly adhere to council, God will overrule all things for their good

This Valley to which you have referred as being a choice land will eventually fall into our hands, but it would be unwise to attempt that which at present seems impracticable, for, if you find it difficult to keep the loose stock off your own fields, how much more arduous would your duties be providing the open fields of the Indians were lying contiguous to yours, and the least infringement on their rights would excite a hostile spirit to the settlement.

The Indians further south are still hostile to your settlements, and would doubtless seize any opportunity to spoil you, which there is no occasion for giving them. Keep together, build forts, and never leave them unprotected. In this manner you can preserve yourselves and do the Indians good; but on the other hand you become their prey, and through supinness life may be sacrificed, and perhaps you be driven from your homes and suffer losses similar to our brethren who formerly occupied Sevier and Piute Counties.

The mouth of the Rio Virgin has been spoken of as a beautiful site for a small settlement, and I would like the brethren to improve the natural advantages of that place, as soon as it may be safe for a party to move there.

However, br. Erastus Snow and J. W. Young are now on their way to Dixie. They intend visiting the brethren on the Muddy who should hearken unto their Counsels and instructions in making new settlements, and preparing for the safety and comfort of the people.

May God bless you in your labors to redeem the soil and make pleasant places of habitation, is the prayer of

Your br. in Christ
Brigham Young